Afghan unrest: Taliban attack on Kabul airport ‘over

Heavily armed militants who attacked Kabul International Airport with grenades and automatic weapons have been repelled, Afghan officials say.

The four insurgents who took part are dead, the authorities said, with one security official wounded.

The Taliban said they carried out Thursday morning’s attack which lasted for nearly five hours.

Deputy Interior Minister for Security Mohammad Ayub Salangi said the area was “completely cleared”.

“The last insurgent has just blown himself up, because he knew [Afghan forces] were on the way to capture him,” he said.

Afghan police run for cover at the site of a Taliban attack at Kabul airport (17 July 2014)Afghan police arrived soon after the attack began
Smoke rises from the building near the airport at the centre of the attackThe militants were surrounded in an under-construction building near the airport, police say
Afghan police arrive as a battle between insurgents and security forces takes place at Kabul's airport early on July 17The violence comes as the outcome of presidential elections remains unclear
Afghan police take cover as fire is exchanged between insurgents and security forces at Kabul's airport early on July 17Police took shelter from small arms fire as well as rocket-propelled grenades before the militants wee killed
Afghan police arrive at the site of the attackAfghan authorities say that the area under attack is now fully secured

Eyewitnesses said the militants took over an unused under-construction building near the heavily guarded airport.

All flights from the airport were diverted to other Afghan cities.

The militants are believed to have used a car bomb to gain access to the building, says the BBC’s Karen Allen in Kabul.

Eyewitness Ramin Anwari told the BBC that neighbours were woken by the sound of fighting.

“I could hear more than 10 explosions, some really heavy, in a matter of some minutes coming from the area across the airport,” he said.

Afghan police and special forces engaged the militants in buildings near the airport.

An interior ministry official told the BBC that the airport itself had not been damaged in the attack, claiming “not a single rocket” had landed inside.

The airport attack comes two days after at least 42 people were killed in a suicide attack at a market in Paktika province in the east of the country.

Earlier this week Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates reached a deal to resolve a dispute over the results of last month’s presidential election.

The contenders, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, agreed to accept the outcome of a vote audit after earlier allegations of voter fraud.

The dispute had revived fears for Afghanistan’s stability after the withdrawal of US-led forces later this year.

Are you in the area? Do you have any information to share? Send us your comments. You can email us at haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk using the subject line ‘Kabul Airport’.

 

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